Whether you are in charge of a large corporation or a small business owner, your company mark is the brand of your business. A trademark is a symbol, name, slogan, design or brand used to represent your company.
It is critical to protect your mark, as people who recognize your brand purchase your product or services. One of the easiest ways to protect your brand is to register your mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
What are the benefits of trademark registration?
While you are not required to register your mark with the USPTO, there may be definite benefits to doing so. Once your mark is registered, you have exclusive rights to that mark and enhanced legal abilities. Although you have common law rights to your mark even if it is not registered, having a registered trademark gives you the ability to file an infringement claim on a federal or state level if another entity is using your mark. Other benefits of trademark registration include the following:
- Minimizes the risk of you committing trademark infringement
- Reduces your burden of proof in an infringement case
- Enables you to use your trademark in other countries
Before registering your mark, it is essential to ensure that your mark is not similar to any other marks already in use.
How can you protect your mark?
A company who uses a mark that is similar to yours may be charged with infringement if that mark causes consumer confusion. Customers may see a similar mark and purchase goods or services from another company, believing that they were obtaining products from your company.
You are in charge of protecting your mark. If you see another company using a mark that is too close to yours, you can file an infringement claim.